Wedding traditions explained

23/07/19

There are many things people expect to see at weddings. The majority of traditions are second nature, and no one questions the origin. The truth is there are many traditions which have an interesting background. Things we’ve inherited from different times which still happen today. In this blog, we will be exploring the sometimes weird origins of wedding traditions.

Father gives away the bride

Starting off with one most people know the origin of. The act of a father walking her daughter down the aisle is always a tender moment. In fact, in modern weddings, a variety of different people close to the bride have the honour of “giving her away,” if it’s not the father. It can be a heartfelt way of thanking someone who brought you up. It’s also nice to have someone you trust close to you in the lead up to the big moment. Originally, the father would walk his daughter down the aisle to literally give her to the groom. This was a transactional action instead of one of love and the bride was given for a price or dowry.

The bells

We all love to hear the sound of wedding bells. But the origin of this is slightly more sinister than a happy song. Wedding bells were originally used to ward off evil spirits, which is a common theme in old marriage traditions. Several of these originated from the idea of keeping away evil from the ceremony and protecting the bride and groom.

Best man and bridesmaids

Getting your best friends involved in your wedding is an uplifting experience. Having those closest to you around you when tying the knot makes the day even more special. But the origin of the best men and bridesmaids is pretty strange. The original need for a best man came from the idea that the bride must be stopped from escaping. The best man essentially had to keep his eye on her and literally kidnap her if need be. Meanwhile, the reason bridesmaids traditionally wear the same outfits is to act as a distraction technique for evil spirits. Traditional the bridesmaids wore the same as the actual bride so it would confuse the spirits even further. These days, it’s just a nice touch to see the bridesmaids matching.

The veil

The veil is a common accessory within the bridal industry. It can accompany a tiara or stand-alone, and generally looks stylish and elegant. It’s not often you see a veil covering the whole face anymore, though. Veils originated from the times when arranged marriages were very common. The groom wouldn’t get to see his bride to be until the very last second, and by then it would be too late to back out.

The rhyme

A wedding traditions list wouldn’t be complete without the old favourite. “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” Each item was supposed to bestow something upon the new couple and bless the marriage. The something old was seen as a representation of continuity, a common wedding theme. Similarly, something new was a symbol of a new start and optimism for the future. The something borrowed was traditionally meant to be from an already happily married couple, for good luck. Finally, something blue was a representation of purity and love between the couple.

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